Monday, April 02, 2012

Alaskans For Justice Demand Accountability From The Department Of Justice Over The Railroading Of Ted Stevens

On March 29th, 2012, Alaska Dispatch reported the emergence of a new advocacy group called Alaskans For Justice. This group is not to be confused with the separate antiwar group known as Alaskans for Peace and Justice. Alaskans For Justice formed in the wake of the release of the full 525-page report on the investigation of the misconduct-ridden public corruption prosecution of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, released on March 15th.

Alaskans For Justice's first public outreach will take place on April 4th at 5:00 p.m. at PenAir’s Anchorage hangar; the public is invited. Some serious heavy hitters will be present, including Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Other heavy hitters are identified in the list of supporters who have signed an open letter demanding accountability from the Department of Justice; they include banker Marc Langland, pollster Dave Dittman, grocer David Gottstein, former gubernatorial candidate John Binkley, and Cheryl Frasca, all of whom are familiar to politically-aware Anchorage residents. Update: The rally was indeed held, and here's a KTVA Channel 11 news video:

The open letter spells out Alaskans For Justice's objective. They won't settle for just words; they want scalps, specifically the scalps of the corrupt prosecutors and investigators identified in the report:

* Fire the deceitful and corrupt prosecutors and investigators identified in the special counsel’s report and terminate further government funding of their legal expenses.
* Initiate, using an independent counsel, a full criminal investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors and investigators and request the bar associations in which they are members to open disbarment proceedings.
* Publicly release the complete text of the upcoming Office of Professional Responsibility report on the Stevens prosecution.
* Apologize to Catherine Stevens and the other members of the Stevens family and to the people of Alaska.

It looks like Alaskans For Justice is off to a good start. Very importantly, they don't seem disposed to accept any limp-wristed compromises; they want to see some "career blood" shed. But carrying the flag for Ted Stevens alone is insufficient to show the sheer horizontal extent of the corruption within DOJ. To illustrate how this is more than a fluke, Alaskans For Justice should consider the following:

-- Include Pete Kott and Vic Kohring. While unlike Ted Stevens, those two eventually pleaded guilty, their convictions were overturned for the same reasons as Stevens' conviction; refusal to make all the evidence available to their defense teams.

-- Demand that either the Department of Justice or the State of Alaska investigate, and if warranted, indict and try star government snitch Bill Allen on child exploitation charges. Allen allegedly pursued teenage girls during his rise to the top of Alaska's business and political world. Anchorage police detectives said they spent several years on the case, working with a prosecutor from the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and planned to go to a federal grand jury and allege Allen violated the federal Mann Act. But the Justice Department quashed the Mann Act case in 2010, despite the recommendation by the prosecutor and his supervisor that a grand jury hear it. It is believed the DOJ quashed the case as part of the deal they made with Allen.

If Alaskans For Justice really wants to turn up the ante, they might want to also consider taking an interest in the upcoming Schaeffer Cox trial, set to begin in Anchorage on May 7th. By posting picketers around the federal courthouse during the trial, they'd be sending a message to the federal government that the DOJ is still under a microscope, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The only question is, will the heavy hitters associated with Alaskans For Justice think it's beneath their dignity to rub shoulders with militia types? Don't forget, what's happening to Schaeffer Cox and his cohorts has already happened to Ted Stevens. We can no longer afford to indulge class differences.

1 comment:

  1. michael glasgow4/21/2012 2:22 PM

    I want more transparancy in justice.